Before being referred to VINA, Wanda rarely smiled and every time she laughed she would cover her mouth with her hand because she was embarrassed by the condition of her teeth. At VINA, she got multiple extractions and fillings. After treatment, Wanda said “with great support from the staff throughout, my self-confidence and well-being so improved. . . I’m grinning all the time!”
During her appointments, VINA also alerted her to several high blood pressure readings and urged her to see a primary care physician. She did and was able to control her blood pressure with medications. Wanda says “Not only did VINA bring back my smile, they probably saved my life.”
Wanda uses six words to summarize her experience at VINA: “Negative infection, negative pain, positive celery.” Wanda says that celery was the food she missed the most before her teeth were fixed and she is so happy to be able to enjoy it again without feeling pain or discomfort.
“My first time coming back in 2013 I was in so much pain and had no money. I was treated with respect, care and understanding. I’m always treated with the most respect and patience. VINA is so helpful to me. I would not be able to have oral hygiene care if it wasn’t for VINA.” – Charlotte
“The staff is amazing and what you guys are doing is very much appreciated. VINA is amazing. You guys took away the pain I have been having in my tooth but could not afford to get fixed. I appreciate everything you have done for me and my father!” – VINA Patient
“I’ve had messed up teeth since I was young, I got braces when I was 13. The aftercare wasn’t the greatest. I’ve drank soda and sugary drinks without brushing for 6 years. This was my first time seeing the dentist since then. I’ll be getting all my top teeth out and most of the bottom. I’ll be getting dentures and I’m very excited. Everyone at VINA is very kind and understanding. They make me feel comfortable.” – VINA Patient
“Absolutely awesome, best cleaning I have ever had. VINA has been a true blessing. I was not doing too well before coming to VINA but now am doing so much better.”
– VINA Patient
“Great people working and volunteering there. No wait!”
“My income is Social Security, and I am considered low income. If it wasn’t for VINA Dental, there’s no telling what condition my teeth and gums would be in right now. Since going to VINA Dental, I have had 2 cleanings a year, a broken tooth fixed and recently scaling. They have been a saving grace for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart”.
“Everybody that I’ve met at VINA has been pleasant and helpful. Without Vina I would not have been able to save my teeth. Bless the people that give their time at Vina for people that otherwise would lose all their teeth. And thank you for all the kind people that donate“.
“Thank you, Alicia, for your extraordinarily kind, patient help when I called to see if we might qualify for low-income assistance at your dental practice. Sadly, it turns out we don’t qualify. But I had to tell you how much I appreciate all your work to see if there was a way. Your kindness really did impact me, thank you for reminding me how good people really are. I am sure you are a valuable asset to the VINA team!”
-Barb, via a card sent to VINA Clinic Director
“I have Crohn’s disease and was no longer able to work. I was referred by the dentist I had when I had insurance. This disease takes its toll on my teeth, so I need to keep up on my dental needs. VINA does my cleanings and x-rays every six months. They have also filled several fillings for me. It has been a joy coming to VINA for my basic dental needs. the staff and doctors have been great.”
– VINA Patient
“VINA has helped me so much. They’re so kind, understanding and willing to help as much as possible. They have improved my dental health and smile. They are a blessing for people without dental insurance. I am so thankful for them”
– VINA Patient
“I am always treated with respect and kindness. VINA has been one of the most positive impacts on my life. This place is truly a lifesaver. Without VINA, I would be incapable of getting my teeth worked on. My teeth would be messed up and I would be in pain everyday and miserable every single day.”
“Thank you for the care and respect. You have been so kind to help me with my dental concerns and needs. May God bless each and every one of you who work to make the clinic a kind and helpful place.“
“Absolutely wonderful, caring doctor and staff. I was lost, I could never save enough money for my dental treatment while on SSDI. VINA made everything possible including having a BEAUTIFUL smile during my daughter’s wedding!!
“To be able to have access to affordable dental care is such a relief. Health-wise, it’s such an ease on my body to know I have somewhere to go and people to help and advise me. It’s significantly less stress on my body.”
“VINA found a molar that needed to be extracted. I was referred to Dr. Bonine’s office. My first time, ever at Dr. Bonine’s office, never even meeting Dr. Bonine before, so needless to say I was very scared and nervous. Well…Best dental procedure I’ve ever had! I was treated so well, by every single person I encountered. They ARE INCREDIBLE! Thank you everyone for everything you all did. THANK YOU VINA, and all the people that give their time, so people like myself receive needed dental care! THANK YOU THANK YOU ALL! “-Molly
“In 2014 I had a stroke and all my money went to my medical care. I was unable to work, as I could not stand for more than 20 – 25 minutes at a time without my walker. I moved from my long-time home and business in the UP to be near family. Looking for a dentist while on Social Security, Disability, and VA Disability was difficult. My neighbor suggested VINA and I applied.
It was a wonderful experience. I am so grateful for what I have and for the feeling of welcome from VINA. I had an efficient, kind experience at the clinic. I have never met a single negative person there. The volunteers are fabulous, students and dentists are amazing. They always answer all my questions.
The dental care has been wonderful, I needed two caps on my teeth and old fillings replaced. My mouth wouldn’t be my mouth without the generosity of VINA, I am thankful for all the people at the clinic. To have the help I got from VINA, oh my goodness, thank you, thank you, thank you.”
We are just a couple of the many lower-income folks that have made it to later in life and we need to watch where we spend our money. For us, VINA was the right place at the right time in our lives.
We are grateful for all they provide and wish to thank all of their supporters. We have no ‘special’ story to tell, just thoughts of some very nice people there.”
– VINA Patients
“I had many decayed and fractured teeth due to lack of dental care that I could not afford. My teeth were quite painful and I often had to dig out the decay and broken parts of my teeth. I became aware of VINA and they got me in as soon as possible. I had to get almost all my teeth pulled but it actually felt better. Now, I got dentures and am looking forward to being able to smile again thanks to VINA!”
“I just wanted to thank you all for the work you do to serve your community and provide excellent dental care to those of us who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get it. My experience with your office has been completely positive- from the patient, compassionate attention given to my two-year-old son to the pleasant, friendly reception at my appointment, to the kind and skilled care I got from my hygienist and dentist. I am thankful to God for all of you for committing yourselves to serving with enthusiasm, cheerfulness, and excellence. Thank you again!”
– Katie (from a card sent to VINA)
We wanted to give you this card as a symbol of our appreciation for all that you do. Your kindness has helped our lives greatly and we are so grateful. We are truly thankful that you do dentistry services for folks with low income and no insurance. Without you and VINA Dental we would’ve had nowhere to go. You have treated us with the up-most respect, and so has your staff. Without VINA, Bill would still have severe tooth pain and it eventually would’ve cost him his job he just got, so we are so happy that your facility helps those without much money and insurance.”
– VINA Patients (from a card sent to Dr. Bonine)
“I have been with the clinic since its inception. I remember our first days of taking in patients and how chaotic that was. There were so many people signing up in those first few days. I had to sit on the stairs with a patient doing intake.
There are many patients that come to mind, but the one I remember the most was a young man from the Howell area. He walked all the way from Howell on a winter day because he didn’t have transportation. One of our volunteers drove him home and stopped on the way to get him something to eat at McDonald’s.
I have volunteer at VINA all these years because I get so much enjoyment out of the patients and the staff. The patients are so appreciative of the care they get, and I would say to anyone thinking of coming here, come and try it, you won’t be disappointed.”
-Mary C., VINA Volunteer